Inaugural Farm Week: Where Does Our Food Come From?

Hotchkiss held its first Farm Week from Oct. 16-21 to educate and inspire the community to learn more about where our food comes from and how small decisions, like eating a local pear or choosing to compost, can make a big difference. The event was organized by the Green Innovative Sustainable Engagement (GISE) council; students taking the Sustainable Food Systems course and participating in FFEAT (Fairfield Farm Ecosystem and Adventure Team); and Farm Education Coordinator Amy Sidran and Farm Manager Bridget Lawrence-Meigs.

Starting with Farm Fest on Sunday, punctuated by a visit from Hudson Carbon mid-week and fueled by daily informative emails crafted by Hotchkiss students, the week offered opportunities to learn about soil health, food security, food waste, meat and vegetable production at Hotchkiss’s Fairfield Farm and in the surrounding community, and reminders to appreciate those who cook for us in the Dining Hall every day. “We had a blast and are looking forward to planning many Farm Weeks for years to come,” the Farm Week team says. “Let us know if you have a topic you’d like us to focus on!”

Here is a sampling of some Farm Week activities:

  • Farm Fest featured pumpkin carving, apple cider, and cider donuts at Fairfield Farm. View a photo album.
  • Chapel talks focused on the student experience of the farm and FFEAT by Maddie Lykouretzos ’23 and food waste by Marcus Lam ’23.
  • A visit from Kelley Babbin from Howling Flats Farm in Canaan, CT, which is one of our pork producers. She spoke with tables in the Dining Hall during dinner to discuss how we can sustainably consume meat.
  • Student Environmental Association (SEA) hosted a food waste competition to see which team—the Olympians or Pythians—could generate the least food waste at lunch. The Pythians won!
  • FFEAT students and farm staff hosted an Asian pear, apple, and carrot tasting and farm trivia during the school’s first all-vegetarian dinner featuring vegetables and eggs provided by Fairfield Farm.
  • Hudson Carbon hosted a discussion about research they are undertaking with our farm and internationally to monitor carbon in the soil, learn about ecosystem health, and promote regenerative farming and forestry practices to help mitigate climate change. 
Two people in Dining Hall

Kelley Babbin of Howling Flats Farm with Dining Director Mike Webster.

Hudson Carbon

Hudson Carbon took soil cores at Fairfield Farm.

Vegetables in Dining Hall

Farm vegetables ready to enjoy in the Dining Hall.

Students holding carved pumpkins

Students carved pumpkins at the fall Farm Fest. View more photos.


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